Dakar: KTM scrutineering report

The "Armada" Moves on Try to imagine a big battle of the moyen age transposed in our modern times. Think also to the scenery of a large landscape crossed by hundred of knights. Are you troubled? You should not. Yes, of course is very ...

The "Armada" Moves on

Try to imagine a big battle of the moyen age transposed in our modern times. Think also to the scenery of a large landscape crossed by hundred of knights. Are you troubled? You should not. Yes, of course is very difficult for you to think medieval and feel actual. You need to link the emotion, like when you're watching a movie, to something possible. Something real. This reality is a mechanic sport that enter the legend over is 28 years of life. A race, and for sure one of the last opportunities to live an adventure. A race and a course, the course to Dakaracross the Sahara. By this way you can come back to the scenery, and imagine the desert. You will live there the most famous and impressive cross country race alla over the planet: the Euromilhoes Dakar.

For that last adventure opportunity KTM has engaged his strongest army once again. KTM has invioved the best rally pilots in order to conquer one more success. His weapon has been improved, of course like any race machine, but the 660 Rally is still the unsurpassed rally bike. That's the main reason because so many champions wanted to race with that dream machine. The other important reason is that KTM Racing is also a lifestyle, the most thrilling one.

Three factory teams have sharpened his talented organization in order to dispute the Dakarchallenge. Now the very final scrutineering steps are closed, and the time is running fast towards the first stage of this exciting race one day in 1978 Thierry Sabine invented. 233 motorcycle pilots are waiting for the first starting line of the Euromilhoes Dakar 2006. Most of them has choose the same KTM Weapon, because not only factory riders can obtain a factory machine. Also the majority of private riders, that have been supplied with a 660 Rally Factory Replica, is Ready To Race.

Will Cyril Despres take the advantage of this number One plate in order to repeat his victorious rode of January 2005? The Gauloises KTM teammate is confident: "We made a lot of tests with our new machine", said the winner of the 2005 Dakar, "And no one problem, as we expected, emerged. The bike is tremendously efficacious. Maybe the race, with his new rules, can give us some concern, but not the motorcycle I trusted in."

Same things in the mind of Marc Coma, with an added target: "I grew up in the shadow of Joan Roma, the first Spanish winner in the story of the Dakar. Same Team, same strong bike. Repsol KTM Team helped me to win the World Cross Country Championship this year, and I promised to thanks everybody with a new success in the incoming Dakar. In the reality of the sport You cannot promise a victory, but for sure you can ensure You will do all your best. Is something like a virtual guarantee of the highest level of commitment".

But not only the major "stars" of the program can have access to the victory. Also the other components of each team. Gauloises KTM has set up an impressive "quartet". Spanish Isidre Esteve and French David Casteu and Michel Gau will also support the "Blue" ambition, instead former Enduro World Champion "Gio'" Sala and "Chili" Carlo De Gavardo will complete a sparkling Repsol KTM Team. But why only three riders to be opposed to the French attack? The answer comes directly from Jordi Arcarons, the Repsol KTM Team Manager. "We have set up a very strong team", says one of the living legends of the Dakar", "And we can reach the goal. Our organization is well tested on the basis of the successes we experienced". To build a consistent team costs a lot of time and resources. So we have decided to invest also for the future of our Team and of the Cross Country Rallies. For that reason we have established the Repsol KTM Junior Team. What better opportunity for a young rider like Jordi Viladoms to perform a real experience for his future? The Repsol Junior Team was based also in order to bring with us Jordi Duran, but unfortunately the "catalan" were injured in the very last tests in Tunisia. So we asked to the experienced Australian Andy Caldecott to join the Team. Il will be a long and hard race, but this is the only way to acquire the right feeling with desert races".

"We also are here again in order to live the adventure and collect experience" , says Joe Barker, Red Bull KTM Team Manager claiming our attention. "In the USAthe Dakaris more and more attractive, and in the last three years our Team has grown up. Expert even young Chris Blais and debutant Andy Grider will show You their special skills".

Four strong-minded Factory Teams are aligned. Four sturdy task forces to be directed. Not a simple deal. Like in a concert the director has one of the major responsibilities and the final, fine tuning task. Time to ask to Hans Trunkenpolz, the KTM Overall Team Manager. "We had the opportunity to pull together the best pilots in the Rally horizon. We had also a successful honour because We have built the best racing machines of the last past years. We went to this Dakarto obtain a new victory. Not only an additional row to be added to Our palmares, but the refrain of a enthusiastic work. Dakaris still far from here. Lisbonis only the start. Almost ten thousand kilometres are waiting for us. Hard miles of desert, of special stages and difficult navigation. The new rules attempted to a new safe face of this marvellous race, an all of Us we are claimed to a very demanding test. Of course the soul of an unforgettable adventure will push all the pilots over thousand of crucial moments. 15 days of different grounds and tracks, with late sunset and early dawns, facing dust clouds and some times looking for the right course in the dark. But You have to trust me: this the best racing adventure a rider can imagine to run. This is not only a race, this is also a challenge".

And now, needle of the compass to Portimao, for the fists stage of the 28th Euromilhoes Dakar 2006.


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About this article
Series Dakar
Drivers Cyril Despres , Marc Coma , Joe Barker , Jordi Arcarons , Chris Blais , Jordi Duran , Andy Caldecott , David Casteu , Michel Gau , Jordi Viladoms , Andy Grider